Scope / Delta MEC verifies RJDC's projections

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For months now the RJDC's analysis showed that Delta Connection would exceed the block hour limitations in the Delta Scope. At the same time both the company and DALPA said that the block hour limits had not been exceeded and would not be exceeded.

Well here is the news flash, from none other than the Delta MEC, that the RJDC’s prognosis was correct.

Now what? Well - if the Delta MEC’s grievance is sustained it will force the furlough of pilots flying profitable airplanes at Delta Connection. Further, we can expect that Chairman Buergey and the Delta MEC will do everything possible to “repair” their scope – meaning yet another attack on the flying of Connection pilots.

The use of small jets has allowed Delta to sustain a greater market presence for the rebuilding of mainline flying when the loads return. Rather than keep the network intact, I fully expect the Delta MEC to engage in mutual assured destruction. However, we can always hope that see that it would benefit all pilots performing Delta system flying to integrate and allow the company to operate the right sized equipment on the right routes.

(Here is a re-post of the Delta MEC's statement)

In a letter dated January 29, 2002, Delta management notified your union leadership that Delta plans to operate fewer block hours of Delta flying during 2002 than any of the 2002 planned minimums in our Pilot Working Agreement. Management also stated that the planned percentage of Delta Connection flying for 2002 will exceed the 2002 maximum planned percentages in the contract. Management claims that their revised planned block hour
and planned percentages are excused by a circumstance beyond the Company's control under Section 1.E.6.b. of the contract, namely "the September 11 terrorist attacks and their consequences." Management also asserts that at least one of the conditions in Section 1 E 6.a. for requiring a reset of these numbers will be met. While we cannot reveal specific Delta plans due to confidentiality restrictions under Section 1.M.3 of the contract, we can report that management's new plans do violate the contract unless the plans are excused under Section 1 E 6 of the contract as claimed by management. Today, your union filed a grievance for submission to the Delta Pilots' System Board of adjustment to challenge management's claims on this issue under Section 1M. of the PWA. Management has also requested that ALPA and Delta meet to confer for resetting the contractual block hour plans and planned percentages, but your union has advised management that such action is premature. We will continue to update you on this situation as more information becomes available.
 
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The best part of the MEC's press release is...
While we cannot reveal specific Delta plans due to confidentiality restrictions
I'm thinking the reason for all the confidentiality is the fact that the Connection and Mainline guys would turn the ATL Atrium into Gettysburgh... (only kidding, but this is going to affect some folks)
 

skydiverdriver

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I think this has always been their goal, to increase Delta flying at the expense of the other parts of their airline. I think most Delta mainline pilots were in favor of one-list, but it was turned down by the MEC and ALPA, without their input. I'm sure now most Delta pilots realize that this was a mistake, and will fight for some kind of flowdown, something to force the furloughes on the feeders. The rjdc is just the first group to advise us how dangerous scope against your own airline is, but soon everyone will understand it. That is why ALPA has it's merger and fragmentation policy. It helps everyone, not just the airline pilots that were purchased.
 

Huck

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I might add that we are voting on ALPA here at Gemini, and management is using the Delta/DCI dogfight as an example of why we should vote no, even going so far as to email us a link to the RJDC website!
 

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skydiverdriver said:
...most Delta pilots realize that this was a mistake, and will fight for some kind of flowdown, something to force the furloughes on the feeders.
It is impossible to say, but since ALPA usually engages in pattern bargaining the US Air proposal will probably find its way over to DALPA. By simply taking new jet deliveries from Connection the Delta pilots could restore their ratios over a period of time.

The only problem is that the mainline guys do not want to fly small jets under with small jet pay rates. They would prefer that these airplanes simply disappear.

The RJDC litigation will make it more difficult for ALPA to simply rob the "have nots" to give to the "haves" in this instance. ALPA owes the Connection pilots the same effort to protect our jobs that it does the mainline pilots.

The Delta pilots are so quick to point out that the Connection pilots did not decide to leave Connection and interview at mainline. That arguement can easily be turned around. The Delta pilots decided to leave other jobs knowing that a mainline career would be more subject to furlough, particularly when their pilots cost more than any pilot on the planet.

Positive solutions exist. If integrated the pilots could bid for the equipment their seniority could hold, the company could operate the right sized aircraft and grow. It would certainly be easier for me to stomache a furlough if I knew we were all in the same boat together & would prosper when the economy turns around.

In the meantime it is time to get my resume together...
 
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skydiverdriver

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Huck,
I would use the rjdc website to urge you to vote FOR ALPA. I think they do a lot of good, and are a good bargaining agent. However, some in their leadership have taken things from the rank and file, and need to be redirected. As soon as they are forced to follow their own rules, the ones they designed to protect their members, ALPA should be a great union to be involved in. Right now, I still think they are the best way to go. Good luck on your vote.
 

FL000

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Prof,

I have said many times that I side with you on goals, but not methods. Your and SDD's attempts to interpret my thoughts is comical. One would have to be a complete moron to not see that Delta scope clauses hurt DCI. Contrary to your beliefs, I am not in that category. We have a contract coming up. Let's get our own scope language to ensure that WO carriers fly all of the block hours we can. Better yet, let's leave ALPA.

I have said that I will no longer discuss RJDC, but I will not stand by watching you and SDD mutate my words and ideas to your benefit, an art which you have nearly perfected.

Best of luck with your lawsuit against me and the rest of your dues-paying ALPA brothers.

FL000
 

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FL000 writes:
Not only do we not want to create a rift between us and mainline pilots...
So instead of sitting around whining about how I've been mistreated, I intend to apply to Delta, get an interview, and hopefully get a job with them, albeit in the distant future. That will be difficult to accomplish with an RJDC sticker on my flight bag...
I suggest it will be even harder if you are furloughed from ASA and Delta enters a US Air style death spiral due to constraints on its ability to compete in a free market.

Sorry to quote you, but if given the choice between Benedict Arnold and George Patton I believe Patton was more altruistic to those he worked alongside.

With regard to your most recent post. First, ASA does not control Delta system flying. ASA management can not enter into contracts that restrict Delta. The ASA MEC can only negotiate with ASA. Legally - it is impossible for ASA to scope Delta.

Secondly, if ASA leaves ALPA, then ALPA has no duty at all to the ASA pilots and can simply steamroll them without recourse.

It is better to repair ALPA and bring our pilots together than it is to build more walls by scope between ASA and other Delta Connection carriers.
 
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ACE

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Well, this all just goes to show that regional pilots should contribute to the RJDC if they want to protect thier job.
 

FL000

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Prof,

I'm well aware of what I have written in the past. Wanting to be hired at Delta and wanting better conditions at ASA are not mutually exclusive. So what's your point?

I want to flank left and you want to penetrate the middle, so now I'm Benedict Arnold? We have the same goals, my friend. I don't know how many times it's going to take to get it through your head. In fact, I have reconsidered AGAIN. Please take my words and do anything you want with them. Rearrange them. Change them. Redefine them. Turn them upside down and backwards. I don't give a d@mn. I don't have the time to continuously rebut your contortions of my posts. I think the majority of the audience has the brains to see where I stand, whether or not they agree with me.

My apologies for any and all personal attacks in past posts. I think we just have to agree to disagree and leave it at that.

adios.....
 
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skydiverdriver

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flooo

Yes, I agree that I disagree with you. However, I can't remember ever changing your words around. I think you see someone else doing that, and then you put us together like we are the same person. Perhaps you are making the same mistake that you are accusing me of. Please tell me anytime I've changed your words, and I will apologise.

I simply wanted to find out WHY you disagree with the goals of the rjdc. I may want to move over to your side, but so far I have been given no reason to. I personally think your career will be enhanced if the rjdc wins, even if you do go to Delta. I understand that you disagree with that, but I still don't know why. I guess I never will. Good luck to you.
 

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Amazing how quiet the Delta guys are when their own MEC verifies what the RJDC has been telling us for months... It is simple economics folks and mark my words - the mutual assured destruction guaranteed by block hour limits does not benefit the Delta pilots.

Since the Delta MEC is going back to the negotiating table why not use this negotiation as the opportunity to restore Delta flying to Delta pilots. Working together, we can come up with a plan better than the ineffective scope in C2K.
 
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FLY.80

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Just a question.....

How would all of you RJDC supporters like if if Delta came to you and said that they had found another airline with RJ's and pilots willing to fly for less money.

They would be replacing you with these new pilots and you would be out of a job. Would it still be OK? This is exactly what is happening to the Delta pilots. They are being replaced with cheaper labor.

Remember, It's just simple economics folks!!!!
 

skydiverdriver

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Fly.80
You sir, are exactly correct. That is why we are trying to HELP Delta pilots by preventing their company from using us as cheap labor, by combining our forces. Our union has a legal obligation to try to make this happen, and that is what we have been asking them to do. After asking nicely, and through their own procedures for two years, we decided to take them to court.

If Delta decided to get rid of Comair and ASA for someone cheaper, it would be even worse for Delta pilots. My reaction would be, "see, you should have helped us, and yourselves, when you had the chance." Thanks for bringing this up.
 

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FLY.80 said:
Just a question.....

How would all of you RJDC supporters like if if Delta came to you and said that they had found another airline with RJ's and pilots willing to fly for less money.

They would be replacing you with these new pilots and you would be out of a job. Would it still be OK? This is exactly what is happening to the Delta pilots. They are being replaced with cheaper labor.

Remember, It's just simple economics folks!!!!
That is a pretty astutue question for a C172 jockey. Maybe there is hope for the future of this profession.

ALPA has a policy to deal with alter ego airlines used by management to destroy a union's collective bargaining efforts. ALPA's policy is the "Merger and Fragmentation Policy" which stipulates that airlines in your scenario are to be merged into one integrated airline.

Mergers create more internal strife within ALPA than any other issue. However, without mergers all pilots face the risk of being undermined by your example.

Based on some recent numbers I have read, the Delta pilots will end up demanding integration before all of this is over with. Integration will be the only way they can re-acquire control of the alter - ego threat.
 

publisher

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Thought of

The fact of the matter is that none of the parties ever thought of the situation where the mainline carriers would be in a position where they merely wanted the regionals to defend a market.

It was always a situation of market development and or feed on weak routes or marginal frequencies.

The problem discussing this is that you want to make this a labor issue and ignore any of the other factors involved.

One list is not a reality or even a discussionable point in the big scheme of things. If anything, the mainlines are going to distance themselves from the regionals not come closer to a merger.

Why is this? Comair strike is one. Two, the problem they have is that their markets are being taken by Southwest, Alaska, Air Tran and others who have slid in between the regional and the majors with a different concept.

To look somewhere else as an example, take TV networks... Along came cable and internet, some of which the majors owned. You could have this labor fight going on in the majors but the thing is that 50% of the viewers went to some other guys like Fox or CNN who had their own little niche,

While railroad guys were debating over scope and other issues, someone came and made off with their markets. It was called aviation.

Until you deal with these issues as part of the whole, you are jsut making noise.
 

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Publisher:

Your comparison is apples and oranges. We are not talking about people replacing flying with Star Treck style transporters. If that technology ever comes along you wont see me on this board - I'll zip to Tahiti. Lets deal with the real world.

Southwest and Airtran have the market advantage of paying their pilots significantly less than the established major carriers. Delta's 12 year 737 Captains can make $250,000 at the end of Contract 2000, while Southwests' pilots top out at around 150,000 to 160,000 (if I'm not mistaken).

The majors can only remain in the domestic market over the long term by offering better service (frequent flyer programs, international destinations, Crown Clubs) and being price competitive. With regard to price competition & service one viable option is the CRJ700 and similar aircraft that are replacing 737 and 727's.

Our arguement is over who will operate these airplanes, which is a labor issue. One side believes that these airplanes should not fly and that 737's and MD80 type equipment should continue in their traditional roles. The other side argues that the small jets should fly in the market for which they are suited and that the 737-800's and MD80's should fly in the markets where they are best suited.

The only reason why the piloting profession is elevated to the standards of safety and compensation that has been achieved is because pilots figured out it was better to stand together and negotiate with their employers. The issue of small jets has threatened to tear apart this unity. So it is a labor issue.

Right now the Elephants are winning at restricting the small jets from the marketplace. However, as you mentioned the major airlines now need the small jets in a defensive role.

The first major airline that realizes the proper role of small jets and lifts the restrictions on their use will benefit through the additional growth and feed that their market constrained major can not take advantage of. Again, the control over the operation of the small jets is controlled by union contracts - which again is a labor issue.

The airplanes are only half the story - you need pilots to fly them.
 

publisher

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right

I am not saying that there is not a labor issue element.

What I am indicating is that the other factors involved eliminate the possibility of solution that people who advocate one list want.

You are also right to bring up the market points that you did.

Ultimnately the question becomes, what will the paying passengers pay for this particular service.

Union contracts, costs of big frequent flier liability, maintenance costs, etc., etc., can drive up the cost of a ticket. The question is who is willing to pay for it. Southwest and others have proved they can produce a quality product by paying attention to all costs, not just pilots, and serving the public at a price they will pay.

It is my personal feeling that scope issues here may well hurt the larger carriers in the market and hence their pilot corp. As Deniis Miller says though, I could be wrong.
 

FlyingSig

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Not quiet...just not online so much

we can report that management's new plans do violate the contract unless the plans are excused under Section 1 E 6 of the contract as claimed by management. Today, your union filed a grievance for submission to the Delta Pilots' System Board of adjustment to challenge management's claims on this issue under Section 1M. of the PWA. Management has also requested that ALPA and Delta meet to confer for resetting the contractual block hour plans and planned percentages, but your union has advised management that such action is premature. We will continue to update you on this situation as more information becomes available. [/B]

I highlighted the real jist of this code-a-phone. The contract is being violated because of a term circumstances beyond the control of the company.

Here's the definition from our contract:

2. “Circumstance over which the Company does not have control,” for the purposes of Section 1, means a circumstance that includes, but is not limited to, a natural disaster; labor dispute; grounding of a substantial number of the Company’s aircraft by a government agency; reduction in flying operations because of a decrease in available fuel supply or other critical materials due to either governmental action or commercial suppliers being unable to provide sufficient fuel or other critical materials for the Company’s operations; revocation of the
Company’s operating certificate(s); war emergency; owner’s delay in delivery of aircraft scheduled for delivery; manufacturer’s delay in delivery of new aircraft scheduled for delivery. The term “circumstance over which the Company does not have control” will not include the price of fuel or other supplies, the price of aircraft, the state of the economy, the financial state of the Company, or the relative profitability or unprofitability of the Company’s then-current operations.


I highlighted war emergency because that's what the company says allows them to vilotae the contract. The other part that I highlighted is why I believe they can not do what they are doing.

Would this cause DCI pilots to be furloughed. I hope not. Unlike skydiverdriver, I don't wish that upon anybody. But I believe that it would not. What Delta is doing is flying less mainline block hours than the minimum that is contractually required (2,267,000 hours). By flying the same amount of DCI flying with this lower mainline flying the DCI percentages are exceeded. If we win the grievance and the minimum hours must be restored, the DCI percentages (which have already been reset to higher numbers) will be within limits. Also keep in mind if this grievance is won that also means that everyone that is furloughed was furloughed illegally and must be recalled. Why would Delta keep an additional 565 pilots around and pay them not to fly.... esp when UAL and AAL are announcing their spring schedule will bring them back to within 7% (in AAL's case) of their pre-9/11 flying. Doesn't add up but sure make good RJDC propaganda.

Delta enters a US Air style death spiral due to constraints on its ability to compete in a free market.
Another good one..... let's see, who is the #1 RJ operator in the world right now? Oh, yeah, DCI. I'd say DAL Inc. is doing ok in that area. Compare the percentage scope to AAL... UAL....NWA ... USA , the only airline that has less constriants then Delta does is CAL and they are following the DAL playbook right now in regards to RJ's.
 

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Flying Sig:

So let me get this straight - if you win your grievance - you believe Delta would start operating all kinds of unprofitable flights just to get your block hours up to the minimum required?

They are loosing money already, if there was profitable mainline flying out there - they would perform it.

If forced to follow the contract Delta will park RJ's. Because the amount of money an RJ can earn is less than what it costs to build your block hours flying around an MD88 with 19 people on it. Delta will follow the path that looses the least amount of money. Delta will follow the patch chosen by American and begin reducing Delta Connection.

Your path leads to mutual assured destruction. Your patch leads to furloughing Connection pilots & harming your employer.

I fully expect your MEC to come after the small jets just like the US Air MEC is doing. Anybody want to guess where we go from there?

By the way - no "Mea Culpa" for the fact that the RJDC was right on the scope exceedences?
 
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